Thanks for following me to the new site. I’ll be posting here from now on. My knowledgeable and helpful sister helped me move everything to here, and I’m grateful for her help. (There’s a lot I don’t know about this sort of thing. She can verify that.)
There’s a lot to know these days. Just in the last two days, I had to learn how to use a program called Smart FTP. Which stands for Freakin’ Torture Program. It works, then it doesn’t. That’s all I’ve learned about it so far. Exiting out of it and going back in seems to help. Except when it doesn’t. I learned to import and export content, upload themes, and fly a plane. Well, most of those.
Yeah, there’s a lot to know these days. ATM pins. Website passwords. How to pay bills online. How to operate the DVR. How to email, and even how to blog, activities that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. A lot of the skills we use involve small, precise mechanisms. A computer mouse. ATM key pads. Video game controls. Remote control for the TV. All of these things add something to our lives, and at the same time take something away.
It occurs to me as I write this that the Boy and the Girl have never held a shovel larger than the plastic ones that come with a bucket. Here in the suburbs, with a desert backyard, there hasn’t been much need for one. It seems these small tools have taken over for the large, outdoor implements that I could wield before I was 8. Let’s just say, I can do a mean weed chop with a hoe.
There are other things they haven’t done, like climbing high into a tree. The truth is, they’re going to need to know all the skills of the day, and ones that haven’t even been invented yet. But because of very specific decisions their parents have made about where to live, they’re missing out on some of the old ones. I grew up in Missouri and was outside most of the time. I was able to enjoy those fearless years when it was nothing to climb to the top of a 40 foot high tree, and to sway back and forth with one foot wedged into the crook of a skinny branch. It was nothing to catch a toad or a frog or a snake, and to cart it off to school in a jar with holes poked in the lid. And it was everything just to spend a warm summer evening, catching fireflies, especially if we were lucky enough to have our cousins at our house with us.
My kids, I’m embarrassed to say, will freak out if there’s a fly in the house. (Well, once, it was a lizard, but the Girl–who was 3 at the time–screamed, “There’s a fly in our house! There’s a fly in our house!” Imagine my surprise when I arrived on scene with a rolled up copy of the Pottery Barn catalog. Which, by the way, is not at all useful when there’s a lizard in the house. The best I could do was order it some nice curtains and a table lamp for the hole in the yard where it lives.)
Mr. H and I have decided that at the end of the school year we’re moving back to Indiana, where we have a lake house. We may not stay forever, but at least long enough to gather our wits, if we still have any, and decide where our kids will experience the rest of their childhood. A big part of me is happy about that, if for no other reason than to give my kids whole summers outside (not possible here in the desert when it’s 115 every day), so they can climb trees and get over their fear of things that crawl. Maybe they’ll fish a little ( a little every day, I hope), which the Boy already loves to do.
Because as nice as it is to learn the new tricks, it might be even nicer for my young pups, finally, to learn some old ones.